Best Spots in Genoa to Enjoy Aperitivo

Italians have a wonderful tradition of winding down the day and gearing up for the night—the early-evening aperitivo. Here are places to enjoy a glass of sparkling prosecco with a plate of savory snacks.

Campetto, 8, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Cocktails are not a huge part of the Italian culture, especially not those involving tequila. But at Bar Les Rouges, the three brothers who own the bar mix up one amazing margarita (They even come to your table asking you to sample which salt you want on the rim. Go for the smoked one, it’s perfection!). Housed in a dimly lit and slightly crumbling 16th-century palace, this is one of the most romantic spots in town—a perfect date night out.
16123 Genoa, Metropolitan City of Genoa, Italy
With a massive apertivo buffet, stop by Storico for the cheapest dinner/drinks combo in town (and delicious, to boot!). For 7 euros, get a cocktail or a glass of wine, and fill your plate as many times as you like from the buffet of warm snacks—focaccia, pizza, pasta dishes, cold salads, and chips are always found on the “menu”! Make sure you sit outside, though, to get the best view of the people milling about in the beautiful Piazza de Ferrari.
r, Via Fieschi, 29, 16121 Genova GE, Italy
Stop by Soli DOC cafe for an evening Spritz in the courtyard of the Doge’s Palace. Serving a full menu of wine (including the delicious Italian sparkling wine, Prosecco), the cafe also has quite an extensive beer and cocktails list. With delicious snacks brought table-side, sit outside to watch the sunset cast its golden hue over the ancient city.
Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 147, 16032 Camogli GE, Italy
Camogli is a quick 30-minute train ride out of Genoa, making it easy for an evening out for cocktails and dinner. Leave from Brignole Station, and arrive in Camogli by 6:30pm so that you can get a seaside table at Bar Auriga for a perfect Aperol Spritz as the sun sets and the waves crash in.
Piazza Lavagna, 19, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Glo Glo Bistro is a true hidden gem in Genoa - tucked way back into a slightly sketchy piazza off of the historic Vico Lavagna. Although it looks somewhat run-down from the outside, the inside is beautifully renovated, and they have an extensive wine list to choose from. You absolutely must come for apertivo, as they have one of the most delicious ‘snack’ plates in all of town - seriously, the platters brought to your table are heaped so full with delicious bites of focaccia and cheese and chips that you will not need to spend a penny on dinner.
Salita di Portafico
If you are looking for a super modern, contemporary cocktail bar in Genoa, head to Mua just a few blocks away from Piazza Ferrari. With super sleek white leather couches, you almost feel like you are not even in Genoa anymore. And while the food isn’t anything to write home about, they have an extensive cocktails menu - including my favorite, the Raspberry Mule. My suggestion is to have a few drinks with the friendly bartender, and then move on to a nearby osteria for dinner later in the evening.
Via di S. Sebastiano, 6, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Requiring some expert navigating through the graffiti-covered back alleys of town, it’s not easy to find the restaurant/pub Osteria del Sole. But like most tricky things in life, this one’s worth it in the end. Lorenzo, the owner, has just recently returned to Genoa to open Osteria Del Sole after 13 years of running restaurants in New York City (thus, he speaks incredible English), and brings a metropolitan feel to his space (I love the couches in the front). Come early to grab a seat at the bar (a real rarity in Genoa). With a great liquor cabinet, feel free to order your favorite cocktail, and then stay for dinner. Lorenzo has a fabulous kitchen.
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